Diplomats say Hungary has blocked EU statement criticizing China over Hong Kong

Diplomats say Hungary has blocked EU statement criticizing China over Hong Kong

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Hungary has blocked a statement from the European Union criticizing China's new security law in Hong Kong, with two diplomats saying the move would result in a ban on Beijing's independence in the former British colony. To undermine efforts to combat.

The European Union, which aims to help Britain and the United States uphold human rights in Hong Kong, was due to make a statement at a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday but has reached the required agreements with all 27 EU states. Failed to

"Hungary's argument is that the EU already has a lot of issues with China," a senior EU diplomat told Reuters. Another senior diplomat confirmed the blockade and Hungary's position. An EU official said the statement had been withdrawn from the EU's approval process.

China and the European Union imposed tight sanctions on Western allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang on March 22.

Hungarian diplomats in Brussels were not immediately available for comment. Budapest reluctantly backed EU sanctions last month, calling them "meaningless", and hosted an official visit by the Chinese defense minister just days after the EU's sanctions decision.

Hungary is a major recipient of Chinese investment. In the past, both Hungary and Greece, where China's largest port, Cosco Shipping, has a majority, have blocked EU statements about China.

This week, Beijing's top envoy in Hong Kong warned foreign powers that they would try to interfere in China's management of the International Monetary Fund, as tensions between China and Western governments over the city escalate.

The West says Hong Kong's new security law violates the city's promise to maintain a high degree of autonomy after returning to the Chinese government in 1997. Proponents of China say the law has restored order following anti-government and anti-China protests in 2019.

One diplomat said the standoff was the latest blow to the EU's human rights record, and raised questions about the "soft power" of the economically powerful EU, which has abolished the death penalty. Rely on influential countries to follow suit and maintain press freedom.

He also noted the EU's challenge in balancing trade relations with China, its second-largest trading partner, and its ability to speak out against crackdowns on the Chinese government in Hong Kong. , Also against human rights lawyers and Muslim Uighurs in northwest China since 2015.

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